Pierce B. Frauenheim
“U.S. Marine Veteran, proud millennial, travel addict, avid pilot.”
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve traveled to 42 countries. Bali, Indonesia is my favorite spot. Go visit!
Undergraduate School and Major: Carnegie Mellon ’07, B.S. Information Systems
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Captain, MV-22 Osprey Pilot, United States Marine Corps
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am very proud that I became a respected instructor and mentor for my fellow military pilots. Outside of operational requirements, I was qualified as an airshow demonstration pilot showcasing the unique capabilities of one of the most technologically advanced aircraft ever built. I was also hand selected by my Commanding Officer to lead a contingent of four aircraft that directly supported President Obama during a scheduled visit to Los Angeles, CA.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? The breadth of experience of the incoming class is astounding. I am eager to learn from my classmates’ professional and personal experiences. Everyone brings something different to the table and I truly believe experiencing these different backgrounds and perspectives is a key advantage of completing a full-time MBA program.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The technology industry in Pittsburgh is growing at an exponential rate. The resources and exposure that the new Tepper Quad will provide will be unmatched in the field. Small class sizes coupled with focused career coaching and entrepreneurial opportunities through the Swartz Center are what attracted me to the Tepper full-time program.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I recently completed an immersive coding boot camp in iOS/Swift. I look forward to starting a code club and teaching my classmates the basics of mobile development. In this day and age, all business leaders should know some code!
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I debated going right into the workforce to gain some experience, but an MBA was always in the back of my mind. I reached out to Veterans who have completed MBA programs. From this guidance, I began to see the value of attending a full-time program. The leadership and management experience I have from my military service is rare amongst my peers. This experience, coupled with the business training I will receive, will set me up for success across many industries in the business world.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I researched for years to decide. I have an excellent benefit from the post 9/11 GI Bill. Completing this program serves as an immense opportunity to mature as a cross-departmental business leader and I plan on capitalizing on the resources and training that the Tepper School will provide.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? UNC Chapel Hill (Online)
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized two things I believed would help me gain the best experience from a full-time program: small class sizes and a strong technology leadership/management track. I read school and MBA websites, supplemented with speaking to current students and graduates of programs of interest. The campus visit was a valuable tool. After speaking face to face with admissions counselors and sitting in on a class, you truly gain a sense if you are the right fit for the program.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I’ve traced my ancestral history back four generations to Northwest Germany. I’ve been able to visit the lands where my ancestors lived prior to immigrating to America. One ancestor, Edward Frauenheim, was a force in Pittsburgh during the late 1800s. He co-founded the Pittsburgh Brewing Company (later Iron City Beer) and was a major philanthropist and believed in giving back to the community. To me, it’s very humbling to know your roots and where you come from. I look up to my ancestors’ achievements and it motivates me every day to get out there and start solving problems and giving back to the community.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I’m very interested in technology education. With upcoming advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, the world we live in is about to change rapidly. I believe that there will be a shortfall in the developer community and that we must commit to more advanced technology training early on for our rising workforce. I plan on founding a code school that will focus on producing the best possible junior developers to enter the technology space.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Creating and growing multiple ventures that solve problems and create jobs. In addition to technology education, I am particularly interested in the sharing economy and optimizing our cities. Today, we summon strangers with our smartphones to catch a ride. With upcoming advancements in technology, I believe we are just scratching the surface of how powerful the sharing economy can be. Hopefully I will still find the time to continue traveling the world and scratching items off of my bucket list. I’ll be back Bali, don’t worry!